African art > Reliquaries, statues > Kota reliquary
Kota reliquary (N° 21796)
Sculptural expression Obamba in African art
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Obamba-type Kota ancestor effigy, known as mbulu-ngulu , whose uniqueness lies in the outgrowths in pastilles haloing the face. The sculpture is plated with metal sheets engraved with repoussé. The base which would represent the arms is only partially covered with metal.
This type of figure surmounted the baskets in which were stored the mortuary relics of ancestors of high lineage, playing in a way the role of guardians called ngulu .
In the exclusive presence of initiates, the major decisions of the clan were taken during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used by the banganga .
In order to reactivate its magical charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. Among the Kota, these figures have reached an astonishing degree of stylization and abstraction: reduced to shoulders and "arms" surmounted by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).
Sold for 140.00 €
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